Interests vs. Enhancements (Part I)

In My Opinion

With so many people, places and things vying for our attention, we’ve got to make calculated choices.  “How should I spend my time and energy?”… “To whom should I give the gift of my attention?”…  Over the next couple of months we are going to tackle how to answer questions like these. It all comes down to what I call Interest vs. Enhancement.  There is a distinction between the two and you’ll need know the difference if you are going to sustain any level of success.  Interests can arouse your curiosity, but enhancements (be they people, places or things) raise your value and effectiveness.  Each of us must come to grips with this one reality – Not everything that interests us will enhance us.  One of the best ways to get a handle on what interest you as a pose to what will enhance you, is to conduct a thorough interview of your interests.

Here are a few things to consider during your “interest interview” process:

1) An interest is only worth pursuing if it adds value to the people and work you cherish most.  If you are having trouble identifying what you value most, take a look at what you do with your time. Make a list if all of the activities you engage in, I mean all of them! This list will tell you where and with whom you currently place the most value. If you are not pleased with any particular item on that list, it’s a clear indication that the item is an interest which depletes rather than adds to your life.

2) If you find you are indifferent with the items on the list, it is likely you have hit a “value wall”.  Value walls form from having too many interests and not enough focus. You’ll need to eliminate some of the busy items from your life and limit your focus to one or two areas. Then engage those one or two interests long enough to discover whether or not they are worth sticking to. If they are, refine them, if they are not, delete them! The more you scatter your time and energy, the longer it will take to discover what you value most and the less effective you’ll be in life.

3) Interests are only as good as the role they’ll have in  raising your family, reviving your relationships, replenishing your work, or regenerating your mind, will and emotions.  Any interest you partake in that does neither of these things will make you an easy target for depression, resentment and feelings of hopelessness.  In addition, they will fossilize the gifts and talents you posses because you have not created an environment conducive to maximizing what you have the potential to be great at being and doing.

It doesn’t take long to conduct a thorough interview of your interests. Doing so will help you regain the perspective you need to live a full and purposeful life, in a world full of sometimes disastrous options.  After all, time is precious and it’s best you make any interest you have count for more than the moment.


(via The Great Defender of

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